To help members of the military better understand their life insurance needs, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers these tips and considerations.
- Anyone who sells life insurance at military installations is required to obtain permission from the Department of Defense to be an authorized solicitor. Such an individual must also have a license from a state insurance department. When dealing with an agent, ask to see his/her permits and licenses to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate individual.
- Currently, many private insurance carriers do not offer coverage for Acts of War. Military personnel are provided some death benefits but may purchase a limited amount of additional coverage through the Service Members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), a low-cost group life insurance program, which includes benefits for death resulting from Acts of War. Be sure you understand the benefits paid by the policy if you were to die in a war zone or were to be killed through an act of war. If you purchase an individual military-focused policy, check with your agent to make sure it does not duplicate coverage for your family that could be obtained elsewhere.
- Service members can contact their Flight, Payroll, and/or Finance Office for further details on premium payment and refund issues. Service members and their beneficiaries should contact the Office of Service Members' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) for pending claims.
Before you decide to purchase any insurance policy, it's important to ask your agent specific questions about how the company handles situations related to military deployment for their policyholders. Keep in mind that each company may have different practices in this regard. Take the time to compare prices and the level of service offered by several insurance providers. By shopping around, you may come across an insurer that specializes in meeting the needs of service members.
Before you leave for a military deployment, make sure to check with your agent about the renewal date of your policy and the payment terms. This will ensure that your coverage remains valid during your deployment. If needed, you may have the option to renew your policy earlier or arrange for automated bank draft payments. Some insurance companies may also allow you to temporarily suspend certain coverage while you are deployed.